Italy Aims at Improved EU Relations with Belarus

nsnbc : After the session of the Belarusian-Italian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation on 23 February, Italian Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Benedetto Della Vedova  told the press that Italy hopes that with the lifting of the EU sanctions against Belarus the dialog between the EU and Belarus would be intensified.

Courtesy MoFA Belarus

Courtesy MoFA Belarus

Addressing the press, Benedetto Della Vedova said that Italy welcomes the EU’s removal of sanctions against Belarus and that she believes that Italy contributed to this. Vedova added:

“I am confident that Belarus and Italy, as well as Belarus and the European Union, will be intensifying their cooperation in both economy and politics. We are happy that the dialogue between our countries, finally, will be actively developed”.

He described the meeting in Minsk as an important stage in Belarussian-Italian relations. The Italian delegation that visited Minsk comprises representatives of large companies such as Finmaccanica S.p.A, as well as a number of middle-sized and small businesses. Benedetto Della Vedova pointed out that the Italian companies are interested in establishing contacts with Belarusian partners. Italy returned to the economic growth, which opens up new opportunities for Belarusian exporters aiming at the Italian market. He added that:

“We are happy to develop cooperation with countries that are not our traditional markets, but are very promising in terms of trade. In this respect, Belarus is of much interest to us”.

He expressed hope that the Belarusian-Italian business forum that will take place later on 23 February will lay the foundation for future contracts, and Italian businessmen will find partners in Belarus. Belarus  can, after the EU sanctions have been lifted, fulfil an important role as bridge between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) which Belarus is a member of. Belarus has also hosted the Minsk talks on Ukraine within the Normandy 4 format that led to a significant de-escalation of the armed conflict in Ukraine.

CH/L – nsnbc 23.02.2016

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